Throughout the first phase of the company, in the process of identifying the “product-market” fit, it was clear we were tapping into some significant and historical trends:
– Physicians looking for opportunities outside of their normal clinical work. Industry challenges, declining reimbursements, the growth in the physician as an employee, and other secular trends, were all driving this.
– The need for Industry to find new channels for connecting with physicians as traditional device and drug rep models eroded.
– A growing interest across society in healthcare innovation. Obviously Covid was an accelerant on this trend, but it has been large and growing in direct parallel to the aging of the massive Baby Boomer generation.
There are other complimentary, but slightly less important trends at play, such as the growing interest in alternative investments over chaotic and unpredictable public market options and growth in both entrepreneurship and “the gig” economy.
All of this has impacted physicians.
AngelMD was fortunate to coalesce around these trends as they rapidly grew. Our physician membership has continually grown and almost doubled in the last year alone. Engagement across our various channels has been consistently high between Vital Signs, the weekly newsletter, events of all types, Innovation4Alpha podcast, the website and, most recently, MD Next magazine. This engagement clearly demonstrates a large interest and need for education, entertainment and opportunities for our community.
We have also been fortunate to have a large base of investors who have helped open doors that would have otherwise been difficult to open or inaccessible. For the most part, these doors would not have been open if our investors were financial investors only. Rather, physicians, dentists, hospital executives, fund managers, distributors and other industry insiders have put their capital to work and rolled up their sleeves to help build AngelMD into something special.
As with almost every company, hospital and medical practice, Covid presented a massive challenge and existential threat. But we battled and used the period to focus and hone our path. The strategy was validated as membership and traffic grew. We benefitted from the fact that other businesses based on physician membership were given premiums in the market. (i.e. Doximity) We were also given a glimpse into the fact that connecting Industry and physicians via digital advertising was not just viable, it was demanding more channels. We’d like to write that this was all planned. It was not. But as we share with hundreds of startups in our community, startups have to listen to customers, stay humble and coachable, show grit is not just a slogan and the longer they are in the game, the more likely they will see a successful conclusion.
As we approach the end of 2022, we are also approaching some key milestones in the AngelMD business. Among those, we are preparing to integrate institutional capital backing in 2023. To scale the business and drive toward an eventual exit for shareholders will require more substantive capitalization. We have largely figured out the product-market fit, and it’s time to focus on growth and commercialization. However, before we take the next step, we decided to double down on the base of ownership that is largely constituted by members. We further wanted to make sure this was accessible for as many physicians and dentists as possible. We want our members to also be financial beneficiaries of our success.
To be clear, until a company exits, there is still risk. Investment in AngelMD still has risk. The primary risk is no longer business model, regulatory etc. Rather, it’s ensuring adequate capitalization. This will have to be addressed via institutional investment. However, the revenue model, membership model and related elements are no longer uncertain. They are proven and they are generating premiums where employed elsewhere in the market. This presents an optimal inflection point for individuals to invest.
Finally, the opportunity for investors is unique in that liquidity is no longer a 5 – 10 year proposition. Rather, it’s likely much sooner than it is later. This means investors can take advantage of everything learned on the journey to date, and participate before the door is closed for individual participation. Investors to date are benefitting from a significant amount of risk mitigation and business model discovery over the last several years that didn’t require sizable capital and dilution.
Market networks and technology platforms are some of the most powerful businesses around. They are non-trivial to get right. Successful models in healthcare are even more rare. But one of the most exiting reasons to be an investor in AngelMD is that you can actively help de-risk the business through your participation. This isn’t like most investments where you are essentially relegated to being a by-stander. Our members are making introductions, providing product ideas and feedback, contributing content and more every single day, 365 days a year. We welcome you to be a part of the team.